Spotlight on Knovel’s new interactive tools

Decorative image of a man working on a computer

What is Knovel?

Knovel is a technical reference database that provides access to core engineering handbooks and tools. It allows students, researchers and professionals to take material and property data, and to analyse it quickly and intuitively.

Our previous blog gives a general overview of Knovel’s main features and content, describing how it empowers engineers by offering a trustworthy source of information and data. But there is so much more you can do with Knovel using the interactive and visualization analysis tools. Alongside their data and technical information the tools let you manipulate and extrapolate data from within your browser and export it into your work in whatever format is most appropriate for your requirements. These tools allow you to interact more with the materials data within Knovel, so the data becomes much more discoverable and useful for your studies and research.

Creating a free, personal Knovel account allows you to save the work you do with these tools too. You can also save searches, graphs, tables and more, picking up right where you left off if you need to take a break.

What are the interactive tools?

There are several powerful tools that allow you to interact directly with the huge sets of data and properties in Knovel. Carrying out a simple search of material properties will give the option to select interactive tables or graphs. This video from Knovel gives an overview of the interactive tools available.

Hyperlinked image showing the Knovel 'interactive tools' video

Interactive Tables

The tables within Knovel can be overwhelmingly huge in scope, needing filtering to start to work the data into something useful. The interactive table tool allows you to filter and sort columns of large datasets, as you would a spreadsheet, but within your browser. You can hide, move, and lock columns, and quickly go from a broad search looking at the property of a material, for example steel, to a table you can adjust and save or export for inclusion in your work.

Screenshot of an example interactive table in Knovel
An example interactive table

Graph digitizer

Knovel includes a wealth of crucial engineering handbooks and has digitised the graphs in these titles. This allows you to extract and export data from digitized curves, enabling you to open any graphs in a separate view where you can extract data points, adjusting the parameters to get the information you are interested in. You can define points on the curve by clicking directly on the line, or by using the navigation panel to specify exact points, and you can define the axis with the other axis adjusting automatically. You can then add points, curves, or elongation data, and manipulate as needed before saving or exporting in a format suited to your output.

Screenshot of an example digitized graph in Knovel
An example digitized graph

Equation plotter

With so many example equations in Knovel the plotter function lets you visualise parametric equations and then manipulate them in several ways, such as plotting curves from the equation. When you run a search for material properties and choose a table, then selecting the equation icon will open the plotted equation for you to work with. You can then add points to particular values, change units, and work the data.

Screenshot of an example plotted equation in Knovel
Knovel equation plotter

Interactive equations

Knovel includes vast collections of example equations for application in engineering. You can navigate all disciplines by specialty, browse the full collection, or filter by equations in the general search.

The interactive equation tool is browser-based calculation software. It can help you get the solutions to problems faster, by letting you work with the online equation as you would in your own workbook. The equation worksheet functions as a space to explore and relate data back to your own work. You can also create worksheets for searches, combining text with images and plots. Watch the video from Knovel below for more information on interactive equations.

Hyperlinked image showing the Knovel 'interactive equations' video

Unit converter

This is a simple tool, but especially useful as it is integrated throughout Knovel to help you work with the data. It draws on a range of units, properties, and scientific notations systems. Easy to access and to use, it will help make sure you are working to the correct equivalents.

Screenshot of the unit converter tool within Knovel
Knovel unit converter

Steam calculators

Presented as a series of 8 calculators, this recent addition allows fine control of a full range of thermodynamic variables, under a variety of conditions, for results determining steam table data. With support for ranges of temperature, pressure, and quality, it lets you work out the required conditions for achieving the quality of steam needed. Watch this video from Knovel to learn more about Steam Calculators.

Hyperlinked image showing the Knovel 'steam calculators' video

More information

You can get further help with Knovel on the Knovel LibGuide. You’ll also find links to Knovel, and additional support within the Library’s Subject Guides for all Engineering, Science and Computing disciplines.

Contact your Liaison Librarian for any further questions around getting the most from Knovel, and for other ways we can help support you in your studies.

Accessing resources beyond the Library

Photograph by Erik Odiin of somebody in a train station
Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

If you’re working on a dissertation, thesis or project right now, or will be doing so next academic year, what can you do if the Library doesn’t have access to all the specialist books and other information resources you need? How can you find out about resources relating to your research topic which are held elsewhere? Can you visit other libraries and archives if you’re away from Newcastle over the vacation?

Read on to find out how you can expand your search beyond our library….

1. Search

You can search across the catalogues of over 170 UK and Irish academic and national libraries, together with other specialist and research libraries, via Library Hub Discover (formerly COPAC). The range of libraries included in Library Hub Discover is expanding all the time, and includes all UK universities, as well as the libraries of such diverse organisations as Durham Cathedral, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Horticultural Society.

Library Hub Discover logo

In response to Covid restrictions, Library Hub Discover has also made it easier for you to find Open Access resources via its catalogue: it has recently incorporated the HathiTrust Digital Library, as well as the Directories of Open Access Books and Journals to its searchable database.

For a more in-depth and up-to-date search, you can also search individual academic library catalogues online. Need to look further afield? Search library catalogues internationally via WorldCat.

If you are looking for archives elsewhere, whether in the North East or beyond, our colleagues in the Special Collections and Archives team have compiled a list of useful directories and search tools.

2. Obtain

If we haven’t got the book you want, you can ask us to consider buying or borrowing it via our Recommend a book service.

If you need a copy of a journal article to which we don’t have access, you can apply for it via our inter library loan service, which is currently free.

You can search UK doctoral theses via the national EThOS service. This has records for over 500,000 theses, dating back to the year 1800, of which over half are freely available online (do note you have to register with EThOS before being able to download: it’s a separate login process to your usual University login).

3. Visit

Photo of Special Collections Virtual Reading Room
Special Collections Virtual Reading Room

The SCONUL Access Scheme enables students to visit most other academic libraries around the country, and in some cases, borrow from them. This service has recently resumed since its suspension during the Covid pandemic, but please note that not all academic libraries are currently participating in the scheme, so do check carefully before you visit, and read the latest information on the SCONUL Access site.

You will need to register with SCONUL Access before you can visit another Library, so do allow time for your registration to be processed.

If you want to consult archives or special collections elsewhere, you’ll need to check with the organisation in question beforehand (you’ll usually need to request to consult items in advance of your visit). If you can’t visit in person, archives services may still be able to answer queries, provide access to selected digitised items, or even operate a Virtual Reading Room, so it may well be worth enquiring.

Spotlight on Knovel

Knovel provides a searchable database of handbooks, data sets and reference sources in engineering (chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, materials and biotechnology), chemistry and biochemistry, earth and environmental sciences among other areas. You can search within a particular work, or across the entire Knovel collection. Searching can be done by keyword or by numeric data ranges.

Knovel has a data search feature that allows you to find materials that meet specific parameters including physical, mechanical and thermal properties. Tools within Knovel include interactive charts, graphs, spreadsheets, and equation plotters.

You have access to:

  • Technical reference resources from 150+ publishers including AIChE/CCPS, NACE and more.
  • 65M+ data points including material and chemical property data

Technical reference collections that we subscribe to here at Newcastle University include:

Adhesives; Coatings; Sealants & Inks
Aerospace & Radar Technology
AICHE/CCPS – Center for Chemical Process Safety
Biochemistry; Biology & Biotechnology
Ceramics & Ceramic Engineering
Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering & Construction Materials
Electrical & Power Engineering
Electronics & Semiconductors
Environment & Environmental Engineering
Food Science
General Engineering & Project Administration
Marine Engineering & Naval Architecture
Mechanics & Mechanical Engineering
Metals & Metallurgy
Oil & Gas Engineering
Pharmaceuticals; Cosmetics & Toiletries
Plastics & Rubber
Process Design; Control & Automation
Safety & Industrial Hygiene
Sustainable Energy & Development
Textiles

Check out Knovel’s Support Centre that highlights news and FAQ’s. You can also get access to many video tutorials, including a very handy overview to help you get started with Knovel.

Screenshot of Knovel overview video tutorial

There is also a downloadable Quick Start Guide and a LibGuide, so you should always be able to find any help you may need.

If you are wondering how to find Knovel, you can either search for it in Library Search or you can find it in all of the Engineering, Sciences and Computing Subject Guides under both the ‘Books and eBook’ AND the ‘Journals and Database’ (eJournal Collections) tabs.

If you have any questions regarding Knovel, please contact your Liaison Librarian.

Find UK and international news with Nexis Uni

If you’re looking for UK or international news from the last thirty years or so to today, then make sure you explore Nexis. The Nexis database has recently moved to a new platform (Nexis Uni): we think you’ll find it is easier to search than the old version, and it has some really useful features.

If you’re used to ‘old’ Nexis, don’t worry: the content on Nexis Uni is exactly the same, and you can still use the ‘expert’ search features if you want to.

What does it cover?

Nexis Uni enables you to search over 17,000 news, business and legal sources. This includes most UK national and regional newspapers, together with international sources, including newspapers, newswires and news magazines in multiple languages. Coverage of news titles often dates back to the 1990s and includes today’s news. Coverage is text only, and doesn’t include images, layout, adverts etc.

Nexis Uni also gives access to specialist business information, including dossiers on major UK and international companies, together with specialist legal information.

How to search news on Nexis Uni?

There are various ways to limit your search to newspapers/news sources, but the simplest is to select the News button from the Guided Search section:

Guided Search

Type in your search term (use ” ” if searching for a phrase), select your date range, and click Search.

Limit by location of publication

Once your results are displayed, you can then further limit your search by date, publication type, location, language and more.

If you want to search news from a particular country, such as the UK, select Location by Publication >International> and then choose your continent and country.

If you would like to try more complex searching (e.g. searching in a particular section of the newspaper, or combining terms together in various ways), then click on Advanced search from the home page.

There is more detailed guidance about searching in the Nexis help centre.

Searching/browsing a particular newspaper

If you want to find a particular newspaper, choose Menu>All Sources, and then type the newspaper’s name in the Search within sources box. Click the three dot menu to get more information about coverage of the newspaper in Nexis Uni (NB ignore the phrase which says Archived source: no longer updated).

You can also use this route to add one or more newspapers as search filters, if you just want to search across certain titles only: to do this, type the newspaper title in the top search box entitled All Nexis Uni.

Personalisation features

If you’re using Nexis Uni regularly, we’d recommend you create a Nexis account, which enables you to set up alerts (click the bell icon at the top of your results listing), save searches, annotate and bookmark items, and share these with others. You can read more about alerts here.

Alert button

Please note: if you had previously set up alerts or saved searches on ‘old’ Nexis, they won’t migrate to Nexis Uni, so you’ll need to set them up again.

Where can I get more help?

Click the large question mark icon at the bottom right of the screen to get to the Nexis Help Centre >Support Resources, which includes videos and short guides.

Should I use Lexis or Nexis for UK news searching?

The ‘news’ section on the Lexis legal database enables you to search UK national and regional (but not international) newspapers. Nexis Uni is produced by the same company, and should have the same UK news coverage as Lexis, though Nexis Uni also includes a wider range of news sources such as broadcast news and news wires. We also think you’ll find the Nexis search and personalisation options are better, and easier to use, so we’d recommend Nexis. However, you might prefer to stick with Lexis if you use it regularly for legal information.

SAGE Research Methods

After a recent trial we are delighted we have managed to secure access to SAGE Research Methods. This is an invaluable resources for anyone undertaking an independent research project or dissertation.

The platform contains thousands of resources, dedicated to the subject area of Research Methods.  It supports all stages of the research process from: writing a research question, conducting a literature review, choosing the best research methods, analysing data, to writing up your results and thinking about publication.

It contains information suited to all levels of researchers, from undergraduates starting their first projects to research associates. Within the resource students will be able to access dictionary and encyclopaedia entries, book chapters, full books, journal articles, case studies, some datasets and streaming video from SAGE Research Methods Video. It includes online access to the complete Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences (QASS) series, aka the “The Little Green Books,” as well as the Qualitative Research Methods Series (QRMS), or “The Little Blue Books”

SAGE Research Methods includes a wealth of teacher resources and reusable materials for academics and module leaders to draw on and are licensed for educational use, allowing you to reuse materials and show videos within your teaching free of Copyright concerns. We think the platform will work well in conjunction with textbooks on research methods as well as some of the resources we have on our ASK website.

The Methods Map can be used to navigate methods, concepts and techniques via breakout diagrams. Whereas the Project Planner Tool is a step-by-step guide to starting, developing and completing a research project.  The methods sections provide information on all aspects of the research cycle – including the formulation of research questions, research design, project management and data collection.

Coming soon, SAGE Research Methods will be embedded in Canvas as an LTI, allowing you to easily embed videos, learning materials, case studies and videos into your Canvas courses.

Access the SAGE Research Methods User Guide for an overview of the resource an use the tabs below to access videos and training materials to get started.

Be Connected: Finding Company Information

As a student, it can be difficult to decide which databases or web sites you might want to use for your research and it will be dependent on the question you are trying to answer. 

Company information resources can help you compare companies across industries, financial or employee criteria and research individual companies of interest. Depending how much detail you are looking for, you can access short profiles that give you an overview of individual companies or build detailed reports for companies that fit your criteria, including full balance sheets, income statements, ratios and more. 

Where to find company information

Company Information Resource Guide

Our Company Information guide draws together the resources that we have at Newcastle University for finding company profiles, financial data and executive information. Visit the Company Information guide to access our University subscriptions on and off campus.

Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete is a full text business database that covers management, economics, finance, accounting, international business. It has full text access for nearly 3,600 scholarly, business related journals. It also includes trade publications, industry profiles, company profiles and SWOT analysis.

Company Information can be found in a basic search across all of Business Source Complete. You can either search by a company name or BSC will suggest companies that are linked to your topic keywords.

Alternatively, you can search within the Company Information section by company name.

What else can you find in BSC?

Company Profiles

The Company Profiles section found under the more menu gives
you access to a full profile report for thousands of companies.
Search by the company name. It includes detailed company
information for more than 1.1 million of the world’s largest
public and private companies.Information includes financials,
subsidiaries, products, employees, industry information and
more.

Company Profiles are drawn from a number of different sources
including:

  • Marketline: A business information company covering the automotive,
    consumer, energy, financial services, healthcare and technology
    sectors. Used to called Datamonitor.
  • Medtrack Company Profiles: A biopharmaceutical corporate intelligence company.

Industry Profiles

Nearly 10,000 Industry Profiles that are updated annually. These are full text and can come from a variety of different providers including Marketline.

Nexis

Nexis is a major full text database for global news and business information.

Access to over 35,000 sources, with more than 12,000 international news sources including UK daily and regional newspapers, and company information for over 200 million companies worldwide.

In Nexis you can :

  • find newspaper articles and trade journal articles on a business related topic
  • gather information about a company, industry, country and people
  • keep up to date on a topic of interest

Company and financial reports

  • 180 company databases from around the world
  • Coverage of over 200 million companies worldwide (public and private)
  • Over 20 million US companies included (public and private)
  • In-depth company profiles
  • Company snapshots
  • Financial analysis and competitor information

Industry and Country Reports

  • Daily industry-led news
  • Comprehensive monthly/quarterly reports
  • Industry & country driven reports including SWOT, forecastings, market trends and analysis
  • Multi-national sector directories broken down by key industry verticals

Companies Search

Use the Companies tab to look up factual data on a company. For example name of executives, ages, bonuses, salaries, description of the company, history of how they were funded and competitors.

For advanced use of Nexis, select the Power Search. This allows you to be very specific about the keywords you enter, where you would like them to appear in the article and which publications you would like to search.

Bureau van Dijk databases

At Newcastle University we subscribe to three products which provide access to company accounts, ratios, activities, ownership and management information.

Fame

This resource covers UK and Irish companies providing data for company accounts, ratios, activities, ownership and management.

  • Turnover > £1.5 million
  • Profits > £150,000
  • Shareholder Funds > £1.5 million

Amadeus

This resource covers standardised annual accounts (for up to 10 years), consolidated and unconsolidated, financial ratios, activities and ownership for over 7 million companies throughout Western and Eastern Europe, including Germany, France, Italy, Ukraine and Russian Federation. Company financials are in a standard format so you can compare companies across borders. Information includes Financial strength indicators, directors, images of reports and accounts for listed companies, stock prices and detailed corporate structures

  • Operating revenue > €15 million
  • Total assets > €30 million
  • Number of employees > 150

Oriana

This resource covers accounts, ratios, activities, ownership and management for around 80,000 very large companies across the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Singapore, Hong Kong and India. information includes company financials, financial strength indicators, directors and contacts, original filings/ images, detailed corporate structures, market research and economic country profiles and outlooks, business and company- related news and M&A deals and rumours

  • Operating Revenue >= 100 million EUR (130 million USD)
  • Total assets >= 200 million EUR (260 million USD)
  • Employees >= 1,000

Where else to look?

The University subscribes to a number of business news sources, including online access to the Financial Time and the Economist. Visit the Business News Resource Guide to find out how to access the University Library subscriptions for free, including downloading the Financial Times app.

The Business School also provide alternative resources to find company information, which you can access via the Business Subject Guide.

Don’t forget to check out our Company Information Resource Guide and the Business Subject Guide for additional help and resources.

If you have any questions about any of these resources, please contact you Business Library team via Library Help.

Slides from our Company Information session

Watch Christmas Films on Box of Broadcasts

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
Take a look at the Christmas watch list, there’s plenty to watch, not miss
With Elf, Die Hard, and A Christmas Carol show…

Staff and students of Christmas past have selected some Christmas films to complement the Law in Literature collection. These are films to watch for fun and not with a specific law focus (although Miracle on 34th Street is there for your courtroom drama fix).

The ‘Law in Literature Newcastle University – Christmas Watch List‘ is available on Box of Broadcasts. Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is a FREE TV, film and radio streaming database that can be accessed through Library Search (University ID required, UK access only). Read more about BoB, including a review of a Law student’s film recommendation.

Take a look at the list of festive films, look at the other Law in Literature playlists, or search for films to complement your studies, and enjoy the well-deserved Christmas break!

Resource in Focus: Construction Information Services (CIS)

Screenshot of CIS homepage

Overview

CIS is produced jointly with the National Building Specification (NBS) especially for architects, civil and structural engineers, building control officers, building services engineers and other professionals in the construction industry. CIS provides fundamental industry information and legislation, as well as additional sector material. The extensive range of full-text documents cover all aspects of the building, engineering, design and construction process in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

The Construction Information Service (CIS) is a comprehensive online collection of over 28,000 construction related standards, regulations, technical advice and articles from 500+ publishers. Content is updated weekly, neatly organised into topic based supplements and delivered through a function rich and easily accessible online portal.

This collection is an invaluable resource if you are studying:

  • Many of our Engineering courses
  • Architecture, Landscape and Planning
  • Geography

Subjects covered include:

  • Building regulations
  • Environmental/land Planning
  • Planning control
  • Urban planning
  • Waste/water management
  • Earthworks/foundations
  • Land drainage
  • Law/legislation
  • Transport facilities/planning
  • Tunnelling and underpinning
  • Engineering
  • Materials
  • Groundwater control
  • Roads
  • loads/stresses
  • …and much, much, much more!

Searching

Within the CIS search box you can enter your keywords or browse by subject in the left-hand menu. There is also an Advanced Search option. There is also plenty of help with how to use CIS under the Help option on the left-hand menu:

Screenshot of left-hand menu on CIS showing where to browse and where to get help with CIS.

Access

CIS is available through our catalogue, Library Search. If you are on campus no password is required. If you are off campus you will need to log in using your University campus ID and password. You can also find it under the Journals and Database tabs in our Subject Guides, and on our Standards Resource Guide.

Copyright

Every document in The Construction Information Service has copyright permission from the publisher. Some publishers do not allow use of their documents or will only give permission for certain titles. Publishers who do give permission can also place an embargo on certain documents, resulting in a delay between publication and inclusion in CIS.

Digimap: Global and Society

Screen shot of Society Digimap.

Adding to our existing EDINA collection, we now have access to both Global and Society Digimap.

Society includes census and socio-economic data which can be layered across the map software to provide a picture and give an insight of society in a given area. For more information about how to use the Society data, watch this video from EDINA.

Whilst Global provides access to global datasets in cartographic styles and downloadable formats. It allows you to browse, annotate and print global maps and access to downloadable global datasets for use in GIS software.

To access these resources, click on the link to the Digimap collection via Library Search or our Maps Resources guide, log in with your university account and click on the Society or Global tab to access the data.  You will need to accept the license agreement the first time you use it.

Please explore and email us if you have any questions, or post it as a comment on this blog. For other map resources, check out our Maps Resources guide.

Resource in Focus: Fortune Magazine archive

We have recently subscribed to Fortune Magazine Archive – an extensive cover-to-cover collection of the long-running business magazine dating from its very first issue in February 1930 through December 2000.

Subjects Covered in this magazine:

  • American business
  • International business
  • Economics
  • Industry
  • Technology

Published monthly by Time Inc., Fortune Magazine sought to provide news and analysis of both American and, later, international business, economics, technology, and industry.  Each issue featured vivid color illustrations and photographs, as well as high-quality feature articles, published at a time when most business magazines were merely black and white compendiums of statistics and figures. 

Articles and cover pages are fully indexed and advertisements are individually identified, ensuring researchers and readers can quickly and accurately locate the information they seek. Fortune Magazine Archive is valuable to researchers of 20th-Century current events, politics and culture, as well as those interested in the history of business, advertising, and popular culture.